Processive Case And Directionality | Pimzarblan | 2 | Conlinguistics

I will start with a verbal case that is typical in Mayan languages, which found its place in Pimzarblan.

Processive Case In Pimzarblan

The processive case, which is used in the verb to refer to the verbal action as being in the process of being acted. In other words, it is used within the context of “to go (verb+perfect present).” It is used specifically as a post-verbal directional clitic, specifically to describe the action in a perfective tense.

Of course, it is a perfective tense, whereas the typical Pimzarblan perfective tense would be evident within the verbalizers themselves; wheresa some Pimzarblanian languages make use only of +erm for both transitive and intransitive verbs, which was grammaticalized from the same root for the locative verbalizer +ormo meaning “at, to.” In the case of the processive case, it is specifically requires an object noun to bring the action towards.


This case is used in the K’iche and Mam languages–both of which belong to the Eastern Mayan language family. They convey a particular clitic that emphasizes the direction that the agent takes to accomplish an action.

Since the post-verbal directional clitic is used to describe a particular kind of action, it also depends upon what type of direction it is. In the case of the processive case, it leads the agent of the action towards the object noun.

As for the nuanced difference between +erm and +som in those other Pimzarblian languages, it involves the difference of purpose for the carrying of the action. The anterior +erm involves more so time, whereas +som typically uses spatial aspect, which as mentioned before involves an object noun, but more specifically a location or any object noun with an animate absolutive case.

Evolution From Action Verb To Case

As can be expected in grammaticalization, the enclitics are derived from a directional verb, and Pimzarblan makes no exception. As such, in Pimzarblan, the processive case (+som) shares roots with the word so meaning “to go.” So, it can be speculated that *osom would be the proto-word that would relate to these two words, as well as cognates in other Pimzarblanian languages.

*osom: to go
Processive case
Imperative case
som: to go

Of course, within Pimzarblan, there are different dialects, but that is for another installment in the Conlinguistics series.

As for how this relates to real-world languages, this is clearly seen with both K’iche and Mam. The Ki’che word b’ee meaning “to go” becomes lexicalized into an object noun in with the processive case +ee. Of course, just like the Mayan languages, Pimzarblan’s processive case affects the action of the agent, not the object of the agent’s action.

Although this is only one study conducted by Clifton Pye and Barbara Pfeiler of the University of Kansas, it shows how the post-verbal directional enclitic is used by adults to children. Of course, a problem they discovered was when children typically use it in place of a transitive verb; but as they got older, they started using the processive case only when necessary, such as in the imperative mood. One can only expect the same with early Pimzarblan speakers. the processive case is always used in conjugation with a transitive verb.

Difference between Pimzarblan and Eastern Mayan Languages

Mam makes combined usage of the absolutive and ergative markers in order to distinguish between the first- and second-person conjugations with the third-person. Pimzarblan does use the absolutive and ergative markers, but only to distinguish between animate and inanimate nouns.


Tanmunogweilngsom rimumzormo.

[3rd.p.s. [to move].past.hab.verbaliz.proc. demon.pron.obj.[way].absol.inan.locati.]

He always went walking to that way.


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